There are many commands you can teach your dog but to teach your dog to leave it is as important as other introductory commands.
This is our fourth introductory command to teach your dog. If you have not done the first three, it is best to do them first (links below).
- Learn how to teach your dog to Sit
- Learn how to teach your dot to Stay
- Learn how to teach your dot to Lay Down
Why Leave it command is important
Imagine yourself walking in the park or state forest. It is a beautiful day and your dog is on leash. Suddenly your beloved dog approaches a mushroom location and started to smell it.
If you taught your dog a ‘Leave it’ command, you shout it immediately and your dog is safe as it knows it means ‘don’t touch what I just smelled’.
Only think what if the dog licked it or even bit it? It could ended up really sick or even die.
Simple steps to teach your dog to Leave it
Our goal: Dog will lose interest in eating something after hearing this command.
- Get a few treats in your hand and sit in front of your dog
- Extant your hand with food close to your dog nose, once you grab its attention close your hand and say ‘leave it’
- Repeat it until your dog stops showing interest and starts to avert its head
- Once this happens immediately say ‘yes’ and reward your dog.
This was Capri’s third command to learn. It was important to us to teach her not to eat things that could be dangerous for her.
We wanted to be confident that during our walks we can use the leave it command and she will drop whatever she picked up from the ground and also abandon an idea to lick it or bite it.
How to practise the Leave it command
The Leave it command is useful when using inside or outside of the house. I remember, our first dachshund dog ate a plate full of stakes when my mum left it outside to cool down on the balcony. Unacceptable!
Obviously, we did not know that the dog sneaked to the balcony and ate it, but anyway, Leave it command could be useful here. If we saw it on time, we could have used it and save our dinner. So, where and how we can practise it.
Practise Leave it command at home
There are many ways of doing this exercise.
Take your dog out of the room and place small pieces of food on the floor. Then, bring your dog on a leash and the moment you approach the food say ‘Leave it’.
Once your dog ignored it, reward it properly, so it knows it did the right thing.
Next time try to put more pieces and in various locations. All times, once your dog does not react reward it.
Practice Leave it command outside
First, you can use the above, home exercise to the backyard and see if your dog’s behaviour has not changed.
For the next step go to the park and see if your dog, while distracted by the environment does it right.
Later, you can use it in any occasions when the dog sniffs something that looks suspicious. By reacting with a firm Leave it command you will be sure your dog does not eat anything bad.
Teach your dog to Leave it - be persistent
Being persistent is very important. You cannot let your dog know that you are soft. The dog will always try to bend the rules to get something without doing anything.
As I mentioned already, the knowledge of how to teach your dog to leave it could be very important in everyday situations.
If Queen Capri does not like something, she covers her head with both paws. It looks funny, but at the same time we know she is not happy to do the trick.
Brain Training for Dogs was developed by CPDT-KA certified dog trainer Adrianne Farricelli. CPDT-KA stands for Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed.
Adrienne lives in Arizona with her husband and two amazing Rottweilers and she is passionate about dogs. She was featured in USA Today and Every Dog magazine and also contributed to eHow and All Experts.
Her Brain Training for Dogs program helped thousands of struggling dog owners all over the world.
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